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Vacationing in Vietnam? Don’t board that flight without reading our list of 13 things to do in Hanoi!


Once you’re geared to go make sure you follow our top travel packing hacks for smoother sailing to parts unknown.

1. Graze on Hanoi’s World Famous Street Food

Where else can you find a truly delicious meal for the price of a coke in a dingy airport vending machine?

Whether you’re eating bang tom (shrimp-fried pancakes), pho tiu (sweet and sour pork soup), banh cuon (steam rice rolls with pork and mushroom), or any variety of fresh fruits, juices, and even bugs you’ll be well taken care of.

a vendor selling bahn mi in hanoi
@ezkesey via Instagram

2. Wander the Old Quarter

One of the most historical points of the city presents Vietnam as we imagine it: a never-ending sea of buzzing scooters and sidewalk vendors negotiating streets full of hip cafes, boutique shops, and art galleries.

a market scene in the old quarter hanoi
@gez.begen via Instagram

3. Hang Out Around Tay Ho Lake

This massive fresh water lake with a 17km circumference is a natural respite from the city and offers some of Hanoi’s most sought out locations, featuring one of Vietnam’s four sacred temples and Hanoi’s oldest pagoda.

a sunset over tay ho lake
@gadio018 via Instagram

4. Bargain Hunt the Weekend Night Market

What could be wrong about closing streets off to chaotic traffic and letting vendors set up shop? The night market is a great place to get trinkets, souvenirs, and fashion and mobile accessories at bargain basement prices.

shoppers at the night market hanoi
@cintiaretno via Instagram

5. Watch a Water Puppet Performance

The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a must-see for locals and tourists alike – traditional shows involve performances relating to the lives of Vietnamese farmers, dragon dancing, or historical legends all for less than a fiver.

a water puppet show in hanoi vietnam
@wuanderlust via Instagram

6. Bite into Some Bún bò Nam Bộ

Simplicity and elegance describe this traditional dish made with marinated slices of beef and vermicelli noodle served with fried onion, raw vegetables, bean sprouts, and peanuts.

a bowl of bun bo nam bo hanoi vietnam
@adelmainstagram via Instagram

7. Shop Silk Street

This 300 metre long street lined with tailors and fashion boutiques is a great place to get quality homemade furniture, Vietnamese apparel, and of course fashionable silk materials.

silks on silk street hanoi
@millykr via Instagram

8. Experience Colonial Vietnam in the French Quarter

The wide open streets here are a welcome departure from the chaotic old town and the French style villas, Opera House, and charming cafes will make you feel a bit closer to home – unfortunately, so will the prices.

a street scene of the french quarter hanoi
@1world100words via Instagram

9. Don Xuan Market

Head to Hanoi’s largest covered market space for clothes, gifts, household items, and a ton of great Vietnamese dishes.

a customer buying eggs don xuan market hanoi
@1world100words via Instagram

10. The Temple of Literature

This temple dedicated to the legendary teacher and philosopher Confucius was built in 1070 and would later host Vietnam’s first national university. Despite centuries of wars and disasters many architectural styles and precious relics have been preserved here.

a woman walking to the temple of literature hanoi vietnam
@elise_nicole via Instagram

11. Guzzle the Cheapest Beer in the World at Bia Hoi Corner

It’s a bold claim but you’ll be a ‘beerliever’ after forking over about 20 cents for a massive glass of this freshly-made, preservative-free 4% beer that must be drunk 24 hours after production.

a bia hoi in old uarter hanoi vietnam
@choiple via Instagram

12. Try the Famous Egg Coffee

Depending on the person Vietnam’s famous Cà Phê Trứng may sound delicious or revolting. Take powdered coffee and add a frothy mix of egg yolk and sweet condensed milk on top – Starbucks take note! Or not 😉

a cup of egg coffee hanoi vietnam
@jianlinooi via Instagram

13. (Don’t) Stay at The Hanoi Hilton

This famous prison used by French colonists for political prisoners and later for US captives during the Vietnam War is now an informative museum offering a humble retrospective of a darker time.

people walk through hoa lo prison hanoi
@macrockstherok via Instagram

Did these 13 reasons convince you!
If so, participate in our sweepstake in Facebook and you could win a flight for 2 to Hanoi with Emirates!


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